Sybilla Patrizia is an photographer, wanderer and focuses to find a certain place and mood. More of her work can be found on her website and Instagram.
When did you first start taking photos and what got you started?
I remember the first time I took a real ‘photograph’ was one Spring day when I was about 14 at my home back in Austria. We have this really nice bush of yellow flowers in our garden and it was in full bloom when all of a sudden it started snowing. I knew that all the flowers would die underneath the cold snow, so I decided to grab my dad’s camera and capture the flowers’ beauty before they would vanish again for a whole year. I guess this was probably a very Japanese thing to do of me – celebrating the ephemeral beauty of the flower.
How would you describe your style?
I love to play with light and shadow and I try to incorporate the feel of a garment (it’s textures, colours, etc.) into the mood of my photographs. It’s also important for me to capture the essence of the location I shoot in, so when I go location scouting I try to pay attention to the way light and people shape or interact in a space. I think that in the end the ‘personal touch’ will come naturally because we all have a different way of perceiving the world.
I think that in the end the ‘personal touch’ will come naturally because we all have a different way of perceiving the world.
How do you set the mood for a photoshoot?
When I am in the studio I will put on some music to create the right atmosphere and I will talk to everyone on set to get them engaged in the process. It helps to show people mood boards or images of a certain feel that you are trying to achieve and then just see what happens!
Tell us a little about the process, the creative method and technique behind your work.
I am not a very techie person, so most importantly I will focus more on the creation of a certain mood and on finding the right model and stylist to fit a certain brief. It’s always important to test out lighting or locations before a shoot to get a feel for what is possible. Most of the time while testing you get new ideas and sometimes find a much better way to implement ideas than originally anticipated. The hardest part about the whole process is to find a team (make up artist, stylist etc.) who is very dedicated and reliable at the same time. A big part of doing a fashion shoot is pre-production and when you have to work with people who cancel last minute or who are constantly late it just doesn’t work. So work ethic is really important and then of course respecting each other’s opinions and trying to create a positive mood while shooting.
What character traits do you think have helped you succeed?
I wouldn’t say that I have succeeded just yet because there are still so many aspects of my work I want to improve. Most importantly perhaps though is fighting for what I want to achieve and never giving up until I am there. Also, trying to stay down-to-earth and respecting other people’s work and cultures helps a lot.
How do you stay inspired or what are you inspired by at the moment?
I always look at other people’s work and analyze how they create a beautiful photograph. I think it’s important to learn about a variety of things (not just fashion), so I always try to learn about different cultures and I stay up-to-date with news. I think traveling is always a great source of inspiration, but so is meeting or learning about other passionate people. I recently watched the documentary ‘Dior and I’ and was really moved by Raf Simmons’ humbleness and thoughtfulness.
Where is home for you or are you more of an wanderer?
Most of the time I feel like a wanderer because I have lived in so many different places over the last few years – Austria, Italy, England, the U.S., India, Hong Kong,… As much as I love traveling though I am starting to feel like I want to settle down somewhere and for me there’s only one place I can imagine living in for the rest of my life – Japan.
Do you have any superstitious beliefs or self imposed ‘rules’ that you live by?
Always eat what you feel like and enjoy it!
What are your dreams for the future?
I terms of my professional dreams of course I would love to be a full-time photographer, hopefully in Japan. I would like to build a team of creatives around me who are not just passionate, humble and kind, but who also know about the world outside of fashion. I have found that too many people in this business are extremely arrogant and don’t shy to take advantage of others. I would love to see a world where people can enjoy fashion for the pleasure of creating beauty and respect everyone as part of a big team. Fashion is NOT the most important thing in the world and I think there are too many people who just don’t get that.